Peri, Jacopo [‘Zazzerino’]
- William V. Porter
- and Tim Carter
(b Rome or Florence, Aug 20, 1561; d Florence, Aug 12, 1633). Italian composer, singer and instrumentalist. His most significant contribution was his development of the dramatic recitative for musical theatre. His most characteristic examples of this style are found in Euridice (1600), the earliest opera for which complete music has survived.
Although Peri may have been born in Rome, he claimed descent from Florentine nobles with a long record of public service. He settled in Florence at an early age, and on 1 September 1573 he was taken into the convent of SS Annunziata ‘to sing laude to the organ’. His musical education continued under Cristofano Malvezzi, who included a four-part ricercare by him in his print of 1577 and the madrigal Caro dolce ben mio in his first book of five-part madrigals (1583). On 1 February 1579 Peri began service as organist at the Badia at a yearly salary of 15 scudi. He held the post until ...